Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Farce of Fairness


""What is the tradition of conservatism's answer to the question of what is fair in a society? Its answers abound. Resisting change, being for so-called reforms, being against mere theory, respecting human nature, being for self-serving freedoms, less democratic government, the organic society, being against equality -- and for the pretence of indubitable economics, wholly spurious necessities.

None of those ideas and no bundle of them, examined in itself or considered in terms of the history of conservatism, is in sight of being an articulable and consistent candidate for a general principle of fairness. No book on conservatism since Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France comes near to doing anything to improve on the vacuity which Burke fills only with social condescension to barbers and with pomp in support of his 'natural aristocracy'.

No Conservative thinking, to take a step against the cant of this moment, and to name the actual subject in hand, has offered a general principle of what is right in society that is worth attention. There are only pieces of public relations. Mill's verdict on conservatism as the stupid party or perhaps the stupidest party was not merely abuse but comprehensible. ""

Doc Honderich may be overlooking his own utilitarian roots: conservatism pleases those people who think of themselves as conservatives; conservative policies advance their interests better than liberal or leftist ones does, or at least they believe that to be the case--few humans, even leftists, will support policies or  candidates they believe to be detrimental to their own interests (though they may not know whether the proposed policies or candidates are or not  in fact detrimental). The yahoos will vote for Sarah Palin (assuming she runs for US  Smurf-in-chief   Prez)  because she appears to be rooting for them--though in reality, she may not care in the least for the plight of the middle class or poor , but will serve the interests of petroleum executives, defense contractors, and pious windbags who consider the Book of Revelation a political treatise.

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